Thursday, May 31, 2007

What is that savory aroma coming from our kitchen?

Well, girls, I received my copy of Master Cook Deluxe 9.0 a few days ago. After some trial and error and a bit of a learning curve, I'd say that I am 95% satisfied with this product!

It offers a wide variety of cookbooks, and it allows you to create your own cookbook of family favorites and old standbys. I spent my time this week building my own cookbook. After a brainstorming session with Honey and Bubba (all the girls ever want to eat is chicken nuggets) we came up with a pretty extensive list of meals that I already have in my repertoire. I'd just gotten in such a cooking rut that I would get that eyes-glazed-over-wish-I-were-somewhere-else look when asked "What's for supper?". So, I entered a few of the recipes that we hadn't had in a while into the personalized cookbook and made our meal plan for next week using those.

I use the term recipe very loosely. Most of the ones that I have memorized, I just made a list of ingredients needed to make that dish. My goal for this program is to be able to select a dish, add it to the meal plan, and publish a shopping list of items needed to actually follow through with the meal plan. Here's a little example of my intricate recipe for muffins.

muffin mix
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

Pretty fancy, huh? Now, when I insert muffins into my breakfast meal plan, it prints out everything I need to have on hand to actually cook and eat them. Because I can't tell you how many times I have tried to make muffins only to realize that we are out of eggs.

So for your pleasure, here is our meal plan for next week:

Sunday 6/3
breakfast - smoothies (because we are almost always running late to church)
lunch - eat out (because that is what we do on Sundays)
dinner - cereal, popcorn (because we usually gorge ourselves at lunch and don't have much of an appetite by dinner)

Can't you smell the cooking going on?

Monday 6/4
breakfast - poppy seed bread
lunch - pigs in a blanket
dinner - roast (yes, I'm actually scheduled to cook)

Tuesday 6/5
breakfast - muffins
lunch -
dinner - baked spaghetti

Wednesday 6/6
breakfast - cereal
lunch - lunchables, Lean Cuisine
dinner - frito pie

Thursday 6/7
breakfast -
lunch - spaghettios, chicken salad
dinner - poppy seed chicken

Friday 6/8
breakfast -
lunch - mac & cheese
dinner - wedding rehearsal dinner

Saturday 6/9
breakfast - pancakes (recipe similar to the muffin recipe)
lunch - wedding cake
dinner - shrimp scampi (or go out to eat after the wedding)

Did you notice that there is not one tex-mex meal in there? Maybe I'll slip it in one of those open lunch places.

My least favorite part of the program is the printing. I just can't get it to do what I want. Probably because I am really computer illiterate, but still...

I printed the shopping list pretty easily. My only complaint about this part is when it compiled the ingredients, it converted many of my measurements. Where I wanted 8 oz. of sour cream, it was converted to 1 lb. of sour cream. This was hard because I thought I only needed 8 oz., but I began to question myself, and the tubs of sour cream aren't marked in pounds, they are marked in ounces, so... bought the 16 oz. sour cream just in case and ended up only needing the 8 oz. of it. This is a familar recipe so I was pretty comfortable knowing that I had enough. If it had been a new recipe, I would have been a little more worried about getting just the right thing.

The most disappointing thing about it is printing the meal plan. As I was doing all this planning, I was thinking how good it would be to have a hard copy of the meal plan to hang on the fridge. My computer is not convienent to the kitchen, so it would be nice to be able to glance at the fridge and know what is on the menu for the evening. I tried and tried to print out the simple, day planner-type page I was seeing on my screen, but when it printed it was like 8 pages long with recipes and nutritional information thrown in. Not exactly the compact menu I was looking for. So I created my own spread sheet with the menu on it and it is hanging on the fridge.

All in all, I think I am going to love it. I already love the feeling of having meals planned for an entire week! I guess I won't really know until next week when I actually start cooking the meals if I managed to get all of the ingredients.

But one thing you can count on...I'll keep you posted.


realitymomma said...

love the recipe things. i love your meal plan. it closely resembles mine - at least the lunches do. way to go. and keep sharing the meal plan, it gives me ideas for the week!

our theme for vbs is digging for the truth; discovering treasures of the heart. we started with a kit our youth minister bought. needless to say after one meeting we changed the title and sent the kit back and have totally done a diy vbs. dewey and angela have messed with my mind way too much. however it starts next week and i am so excited. i will post pics afterwards.

The Binkley Family said...

keep us posted on the meal planning. we could use some help in that area as well. I haven't cooked a dinner since baseball started!

elena jane said...

sounds like a starting plan! hope it works for you. i used to have menus and plans but lately it's been more hit or miss! when i shop, i have meals in mind, when dh shops, he just BUYS stuff ;) but my lists are in my head...harder to share that ;)